Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. (Romans 13:1 TLB)
There are times when I look at the state of things in our country and honestly wonder if God really had much to do with who filled some of these official seats.Then I remember the story of Israel demanding a king, just like all the other nation's around them had. He tried to remind them they needed but ONE authority in their lives and that was HIM. He attempted to dissuade them from "following suit" with all the other nations, but they continued to desire that "government official" sitting on the throne. So, he gave them exactly what they wanted - not exactly what they needed, but what they wanted. There are indeed times our stubbornness to pursue a certain course might just yield us what we want, but veer from what we really genuinely need!
While not all government officials are upright and godly in their attitudes or actions, God is still in control, and he has a few very important directions for us as it comes to our officials who hold office:
- We are to obey the law - not taking it into our own hands, or standing against it in any violent manner. We may not always agree with the laws that are passed, but as long as it doesn't violate scripture or our conscience, we are to adhere to it. We may not see the importance of the taxes we pay, or understand how each penny of those taxes are spent, but we have an obligation to adhere to the practice of paying our taxes. Even Jesus reminded his disciples to "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto God what is his."
- We are to pray for those who hold these positions - even more so when we see the decisions they are making as being in direct contradiction to what scripture declares. The heads of the leaders can be turned by the hand of God, but our part is to pray for them to listen, hear wisdom with ears that have been turned by God, and then to act upon that wisdom as God would desire. It starts with us praying, though!
- We are to be active in shaping our communities. Christians don't always "step up" to be part of the leading roles in our communities, but if we did might not our communities benefit from this step of obedience and faith? I think Christians avoid office so many times because of the tremendous "hit" they take from those who like to "stir the pot". They are an open book while in office, and the scrutiny of those accusing eyes is often enough to make them shy away from pursuing these posts. This might be all the more reason to pray for them!
It certainly says a great deal about our nation when we hear individuals say, "I voted for the lesser of two evils", doesn't it? If we are to ever see this change, it begins with us - in prayer, example, willingness to serve, and faithful commitment to the standards we know to be true and honest. Just sayin!
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